Lethal effect of methyl and propyl parabens as related to Staphylococcus aureus lipid composition
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The relationship between staphylococcal lipid composition and resistance to parabens was investigated. Chloroform-methanol extractable lipids were determined gravimetrically. Phospholipid and fatty acid fractions were studied using thin layer chromatography, gas liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Consistent quantitative differences were found among the total lipid, phospholipid and fatty acid compositions of relatively sensitive or resistant strains and it is suggested that the resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to parabens was related to membrane lipid composition. Most notable was the fact that, in a paraben-resistant strain, the percentage of total lipid and the phosphatidyl glycerol fraction of phospholipids were greater than in paraben sensitive strains. Furthermore, a paraben-resistant strain showed decreases in cyclopropane-ring containing fatty acids as compared with sensitive strains.